The first fatal shark attack of the year has been recorded in Mexico after a man diving for mollusks was reportedly killed in a gruesome attack by a great white shark resulting in decapitating the diver.
Manuel Lopez was diving for mollusks in Mexico’s Tobari Bay in the Gulf of California when he encountered a 19-foot great white shark at a depth of about 50 feet around 11:30 a.m. the website TrackingSharks.com reported.
Two other fishermen who were with him at the time of the attack said that Lopez was decapitated.
“He was diving when the animal attacked him, impressively ripping off his head and biting both shoulders,” Jose Bernal, a man speaking for the fisherman, said about the attack.
Bernal said that divers in the area had previously been warned about an increased shark presence and that most divers had yet to be out on the water in the days leading up to the attack.
Lopez was reportedly diving with a surface-supplied air source where compressor pumps send air through hoses connected to the diver who is also connected to the boat with tethered ropes.
A 56-year-old diver was killed in the area in February of last year while diving for scallops and another diver was killed in the area in 2018.